Traveling With Psoriasis: It Goes Where You Go
Throughout the years, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and Crohn’s disease have taught me many lessons. One lesson, in particular, was to not let your condition stop you from traveling. Easier said than done, I know.
We know travel looks a bit different this year and safety is of the utmost importance. These tips can be applied to daily life, long car rides, or that perfect private getaway.
On the road with scalp psoriasis
I live with a few types of psoriasis. Each one impacts my life in different ways, emotionally and physically. For example, scalp psoriasis and my sebopsoriasis (affecting regions closest to my face) have left me super-self-conscious if they flare.
Skin cracking and peeling along my eyebrows, nose, and behind my ears and back of my skull is itchy and painful. I feel compelled to pick.
My mood easily shifts down when the subsequent flakes appear in my hair and on my clothing. The idea of people seeing the flakes really gets to me. It’s also very hard to avoid itching, and I grow self-conscious of people seeing me scratch or touch my head too much.
Due to having very-curly hair, I cannot do an entire cleansing routine daily or twice daily, so that complicates matters, as well.
Packing the right clothes
I’ve worked hard on helping myself accept things I cannot control. Among them are scalp psoriasis flakes and dried cracked skin from the sebopsoriasis. It's so defeating to exert a ton of energy to travel, unpack, and get ready only to see flakes everywhere.
One of the other forms of psoriasis that I live with is inverse psoriasis. Living in Florida, the heat is a huge trigger for me. Underarms, my groin, toes, and sometimes my behind – can all feel like I’ve been attacked by 1,000 fire ants.
During the height of all my psoriasis flares, inverse psoriasis really affected me while seated. Plane rides and long-car rides were excruciating.
Psoriasis and the weather
While traveling into a cooler climate hasn’t helped my scalp or sebopsoriasis, it has helped dull my inverse psoriasis. When we have a little cool blast in the weather, the same thing happens. This is one of the reasons why I love traveling to cooler climates in the fall and winter.
Travel and climate may play a small factor in whether my forms of psoriasis flare-up, but there is more to it. Along with excessive heat, lack of sleep, and stress also triggers. Anything that can boost inflammation most assuredly will display itself somehow on my skin.
This is especially evident if I’m at the tail-end of my biologic cycle. I try to counter this issue by traveling shortly after I inject, versus being close to needing the next dose.
Traveling with treatment
Remaining compliant with my biologic treatment has enabled me to reclaim pieces of my life and enjoy traveling rather than fear consequences from it. I’ve been very lucky to be able to maintain minimal flare-ups over these past few years, and I attribute it to being compliant with treatment.
If you’re still fairly new to the game of psoriasis and are planning on traveling, talk with your medical team. Discuss if your travel will interfere with treatment. And you should craft a contingency plan in the event you experience a flare.
During my early days of learning about psoriasis, my medical team equipped me with emergency meds and a topical steroid to travel in case of a small flare. I’m so grateful for that plan because it left me feeling empowered and less nervous to travel.
Does your psoriasis impact how or where you travel? Have you been in a flare when traveling?
How often do you experience brain fog?